Bad Taste Wannabe Superbad Neighbours
Bad Neighbours Blu-ray Review
With a promising premise and a decent choice of leads, this comedy should have been pure gold but, despite a number of excellent laugh out loud moments, it boasts just as many cringeworthy bad taste crudities, that bring down the tone.Simply titled Neighbors in the States, but renamed for the correct spelling here and changed to ‘Bad’ Neighbours to no doubt avoid confusion with the popular long-running soap of the same name, this comedy ‘by the people who brought you This Is The End’ is about a young couple with a baby whose new neighbours happen to be a raucous frat house. Whilst initially trying to get along with one another – and finding a surprising amount in common – the antics soon devolve into increasingly elaborate tit-for-tat.
What should have been reliably hilarious proves surprisingly tone-deaf, as the film flips from brief but incongruous moments of drama to absurdly over-the-top insanity in a heartbeat; hitting a few great notes along the way – but almost at random – and also delivering some painfully crude gags which may well turn you off the whole thing.Indeed as Steve noted in his cinema review, essentially, if you prefer your humour to involve characters trying to use a penis as a necklace then you’ll likely enjoy this movie. Otherwise, its best bits – as is often the case – come thick and fast in the trailer, which shows more inspiration than the film actually has.
Seth Rogen is on hyper-neurotic form, and Rose Byrne tries her hardest to keep up, whilst Zac Efron actually makes for a fairly decent hardcore frat leader, but, perhaps in a bid to make their characters less clear cut in the good-bad stakes, none of them are particularly likeable. What could have so easily been a sharp comedy about a young family struggling to come to terms with parenthood whilst reminded of their party-hard youth is little more than a shotgun-blast of wildly inaccurate gags, many of which barely get a rise, and some of which get the wrong rise.
What is Bad Neighbours Blu-ray Picture QualityBad Neighbours comes to Region Free UK Blu-ray complete with a 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen. A new production, with a decent enough budget, it’s no surprise really that this is a mostly impressive, occasionally demo presentation that captures and promotes the movie’s visuals in the best possible way.
Detail is strong and accurate, with no signs of any enhancement to get in the way, bringing us fine object observations, strong skin texturing, clothing weaves and background touches. There are a couple of barely noticeable moments of brief softness around the edges, but nothing that would cause even the slightest bit of bother. No edge enhancement, no banding or blocking, and no digital artifacts.
The colour scheme is broad and vibrant, with plenty of vivid tones – particularly during the party sequences – and reasonably healthy skin tones. Black levels are strong and allow for decent enough shadow detail and darker or night sequences.
It’s a very good, often even excellent presentation as you would only expect from Universal, doing justice to the material on offer.
How Does Bad Neighbours Blu-ray SoundThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is just as impressive, again handling the material well – keeping the dialogue at the forefront throughout the proceedings, but creating a frequently immersive atmosphere through background flourishes and score beats.
Of course the dialogue is the most important element, which is why it is given front and centre dominance, coming at you clearly and coherently throughout. Effects are myriad, with traffic noises, air bag explosions, police sirens, and screaming babies populating the track, and giving the surrounds something to do. There’s a decent amount of expanse and directionality, even if the material is inherently quite limited.
Of course the party sequences are anything but limited, crafting an invasive, intoxicating atmosphere full of bustling crowds, chanting teens, shaking floorboards and thunderous dance beats, pulling the LFE channel in for some very authentic music elements. Indeed, the score is probably a high point in this mix, pushing it, just about, into demo territory.
Whilst you may not find it a demo comedy, the disc is pretty damn good.
Bad Neighbours Blu-ray ExtrasWe get a slightly limited selection of extras which, whilst including some offerings that are exclusive to Blu-ray, don’t have much meat to them. A slew of Deleted Scenes add little, whilst an alternate Opening paints a more vivid picture of what the frat boys did to their last frat house; the line-o-rama feels a little stiff for a Seth Rogen film; and the gag reel shows the cast having fun but little more. A series of Featurettes dips briefly into the production itself, looking at the pairing of Rogen and Efron, the grander supporting cast of characters, the set, and the concept of the piece. And that’s it.
Is Bad Neighbours Blu-ray Worth BuyingWhilst you'll likely find yourself laughing out loud on a couple of occasions, and you probably won't find it a wholly unpleasant ride - bolstered by the comedy presence of Rogen and a surprisingly effective Efron. Bad Neighbours sports some particularly crude gags which don't really pass for comedy and which err more on the side of This is the End territory, in terms of misfires, rather than Superbad in terms of comedy gold.
Put this down in the ever-burgeoning should have been better category.
Universal's Region Free UK Blu-ray release boasts excellent video and audio as well as a smattering of slightly underwhelming extras. Fans of the film will probably still lap it up though, and have every right to revel in the presentation and extra material on offer, but those who are merely curious may want to test the waters with a rental first.
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